Sunday, March 8, 2015

Oasis - March 5

Philip Levine on peopling the poem:
“Except for the speaker, no one is there. There’s a lot of snow, a moose walks across the field, the trees darken, the sun begins to set, and a window opens. Maybe from a great distance you can see an old woman in a dark shawl carrying an unrecognizable bundle into the gathering gloom.”

When people do appear in poems, Mr. Levine added: “Their greatest terror is that they’ll become like their parents and maybe do something dreadful, like furnish the house in knotty pine.” This man was a thoroughbred moral comedian.

Ode to My Hands by Tim Seibles
Other Lives and Finally a Love Poem by Bob Hicok
The Two by Philip Levine, 1928 – 2015 (Sent 2/19 to Mike, Elizabeth + Denise)

Ode to My Hands: see discussion 2/23

The first stanza addresses the hands... the last line ends with observing the hands, before describing the hands; the third stanza addresses what people don’t know about the hand’s intentions, expressed in musical terms, and mention of Sorrow; Fourth stanza, a whimsical, rather lusty look at the mischief hands can get into, a fifth stanza fills with more uses of hands – they slap the sidewalk when we fall, pick flowers, (small detour around buttercups) and play viola—and ends on a note of gratitude.

Words looked up:
lubricious: offensively displaying or intended to arouse sexual desire.
2. smooth and slippery with oil or a similar substance

solipcism. the view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist.

verb archaic literary
gerund or present participle: whelming
engulf, submerge, or bury (someone or something).
"a swimmer whelmed in a raging storm"
flow or heap up abundantly.
"the brook whelmed up from its source"

Hicok: It is fun to contrast the Hicok with the Seibles – yet more ways to think about hands. I’ve never thought of hands as having individual lifetimes. Interesting angle of the image of “the rivers/of my palms” with a nuance of hand-reading, which colors the third sentence admonishing the reader not to argue with rivers (now fate). How is this going to relate to the title? Some days, I am entertained by leaps of faith, other days, feel disconnected which can lock into emotions as varied as discouraged, sad, irritated.
For me, the discussion of Hicok’s poem, embellishing his lines, ideas, images was an interesting as the poem. worthwhile experience. It is gratifying to figure out enigmatic slants!
We ended with Philip Levine’s poem, The Two, which reminds me of watching a movie happening in an Edward Hopper painting yet having an intimate conversation with the director, to explore what is really going on.

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